Can I bring my cats around a litter of kittens I rescued?
I am fostering a litter of 5 kittens. They still have eyes shut & umbilical cord attached. I have been bottle feeding with KMR every 2-3 hrs & helping them go potty at feeding time. I have placed them in a laundry basket with a cat bed inside & have lined the walls with a blanket to maintain the warmth. I have also added a ziploc bag with hot water wrapped in a towel to give more heat, & I change it at about every feeding. They seem to be doing well & I am staying positive. However, keeping them clean is starting to be an issue. I have noticed that they sometimes pee & poop in the basket & since they move around, they get it in eachother's fur. It is difficult to clean it completely,as I can't bathe them & only use damp cloths to wipe it off. Some of it has dried & is stuck to them. I was wondering if I should try bringing them around my 8 month old cats & see if they will do some of the cleaning/nurturing? Would this be safe? Will it increase their chances of surviving?
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See How your cats act near them, many would be hostile and if this happens have a spray gun or water bottle on hand. If the cats are friendly towards the kittens allow them to come within maybe a metre under supervision, if the cats still seem very affectionate towards them, then yes otherwise seperate them.
Try get a ticking clock, the louder the better, it has been found that they remind the kitten of it's mothers heart and increase happiness and survival rate greatly. Put it under the bed or towel or near them. In terms of cleaning, i think
Either wait until you can bath them to clean them,
clean them better (lol)
or introduce another cat.
I would probably wait until the baby kittens are a few weeks old before you purposely introduce the older kittens to them. At 8 months old they probably won't have much in the way of maternal instinct and will see the babies as funny little fuzzy playthings which could be traumatic for a newborn even if you're supervising and can come quickly to their aid if the older kittens get frisky. More importantly, I'm guessing these orphaned kittens were found outside or in a bad hoarding situation if the mother died and aren't from an indoor-only regularly vetted mama cat who died of stress or bleeding during labor and as such you don't know what kinds of diseases they may have which could transfer to your cats. They need to be checked for FIV and FeLV plus treated for parasites before it's really a good idea to let them share living space. Once they've been vetted slowly introducing them to other cats is great for developing well-rounded kittens that are more adoptable, so go for it!
Hannah answered on 4/29/12. Helpful? / 0